Thursday, May 10, 2012

Open Annotation Core Data Model

The W3C has published the Open Annotation Core Data Model.
Annotating, the act of creating associations between distinct pieces of information, is a pervasive activity online in many guises but lacks a structured approach. Web citizens make comments about online resources using either tools built in to the hosting web site, external web services, or the functionality of an annotation client. Comments about photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, people's posts on Facebook, or mentions of resources on Twitter could all be considered as annotations associated with the resource being discussed. In addition, there a plethora of closed and proprietary web-based "sticky note" systems, and stand-alone multimedia annotation systems. The primary complaint about all of these systems is that the user created annotations cannot be shared or reused, due to a deliberate "lock-in" strategy within the environments where they were created, or at the very least the lack of a common approach to expressing the annotations.

The Open Annotation data model provides an extensible, interoperable framework for expressing annotations such that they can easily be shared between platforms, with sufficient richness of expression to satisfy complex requirements while remaining simple enough to also allow for the most common use cases, such as attaching a piece of text to a single web resource.
Seen on Digital Koans.

Monday, May 07, 2012

MADS 2.0 User Guidelines

News from LC.
The MADS 2.0 User Guidelines are now available on the Library of Congress' MADS Web site:, along with the XML schema itself, an Outline of Elements and Attributes, and a mapping and XSLT from the MARC 21 Authority Format to MADS 2.0.

Crowdsourcing Cataloging at the Bodleian Library

Crowdsourcing cataloging at the Bodleian Library.
What's the Score at the Bodleian? is a project which aims to enlist the wider community's help in describing a selection of digitised scores from the Bodleian Library's extensive music collections, thereby facilitating access to valuable and interesting material which has not been catalogued and is therefore difficult to find. The approach is two-fold in that it combines a process of rapid digitization of the scores and the creation of descriptive metadata through crowd-sourcing, and it is hoped that the outcomes of the project can be used to inform an efficient yet cost-effective approach to creating access to other music-related material in the Bodleian in the future. It is hoped that there will also be scope in the final delivery of images and crowd-sourced data for additional enhancements such as the hosting of audio performances relating to the music scores and provision of external links to video performances.
My feeling is for some material this makes sense. For items that may take years or decades to fully catalog this may be a good interim solution. Or for items of low importance that may never get described some metadata is better than none. I'm reminded of the 4 levels of access and description once proposed. Most stuff, little importance, indexed by search engines. More important stuff, some metadata like PDF and Word description fields. Materials of still more importance, get Qualified Dublin Core so something on that level. Most important get full treatment by a trained professional. FGDC, MARC/RDA/ISBD, MODS, whatever standard fits. Crowdsourcing could move materials at the search index level up a level or two. It would improve access without using lots of resources.